Madonna was questionably the greatest pop act of the 80s. She was certainly the most successful. She was a Bugatti on a racetrack in top gear, no-one could touch her. On ‘Madame X’ she sounds like a broken-down Ford Fiesta lost on a dirt road to Vegas.
When you go back and listen to the Pop Innovation she started with ‘Everybody’ in 1982 and was still evident (but barely hanging on) with ‘4 Minutes’ in 2008, it makes you wonder what happened when she reached 50 and then flew into the mountain with ‘MDNA’, ‘Rebel Heart’ and now this rubbish.
‘Madame X’ is a desperate attempt to piggy back another culture to exploit a new revenue stream. She wants to make bucks out of the Latino market because she sure as hell isn’t going to peddle this to her core fan base.
‘Madame X’ sounds like she rang JLo’s grandmother and asked her to sing a few lines and tap out a few notes so that she could get a feel for what it sounded like in the old country to build ‘Madame X’ around that.
Its vile especially the track ‘Killers Who Are Partying’ where Madonna attempts to preach with the lines …
“I’ll be Islam, if Islam is hated
I’ll be Israel, if they’re incarcerated
I’ll be Native Indian, if the Indian has been taken
I’ll be a woman, if she’s raped and her heart is breaking”.
A few words of advice Maddy “Mama Don’t Preach’.
Madonna rolled out this record with a series of rapid-fire promotional singles, all of which failed to ignite.
First came ‘Medellin’ with product placed Maluma, who in social media circles has three times more followers than Madonna. (You can just see the marketing department working that move).
Medellin YouTube views 29,792,050 official video, 10,607,254 audio (equivalent sales approx. 269,328)
Then came ‘Crave’ with star on the rise Swae Lee. At least this one had a taste of a traditional Madonna ballad, but then ‘I Rise’ a week later derailed the momentum again despite its social conscious message about gun control. (Madonna, tragedy isn’t something to dance to.)
Crave YouTube views 2,947,579 (equivalent sales approx. 19650)
I Rise YouTube views 59,605 official video, 2,466,099 audio (equivalent sales approx. 16,838)
‘Future’ with Quavo is highjacking reggae, a genre well outside Madonna’s qualifications. Already the singles roll-out is showing a random, directionless plan. ‘Dark Ballet’, the most recent focus track is another strange choice and a nothing track.
Future YouTube views 1,658,253 official video audio (equivalent sales approx. 11,055)
Dark Ballet YouTube views 2,133,702 official video (equivalent sales approx. 14,224)
There is nothing on ‘Madame X’ that comes close to reminding us who Madonna once was. Her first derailment was ‘American Life’ in 2003. That album is equally best forgotten. However, she managed to crawl back some cred with ‘Confessions on a Dance Floor’. Then ‘Hard Candy’ struggled but had its moments with ‘4 Minutes’ and ‘Give It 2 Me’.
This decade will certainly go down as Madonna’s Lost Decade. Until Madonna decides she want to be Madonna again, her self-indulgence will continue to drive her fans away and put her legacy in danger.